A sad sight greeted volunteers from the Marine Strandings Network at Cornwall Wildlife Trust when they responded to a report from a member of the public – a massive seven-metre-plus basking shark washed up dead in a small cove.
Photographer Matthew Facey was using a drone to capture images of the dramatic coastline of south Cornwall when he spotted the basking shark floating upside down at Chapel Point, near Mevagissey, on Sunday.
Despite this particular specimen being quite badly decomposed, volunteers from the MSN were set to collect measurements and photographs to add to known information about basking sharks. They were also liaising with Exeter University and Plymouth University.
Basking sharks are a common sight in Cornish waters at certain times of the year, but to find a dead one, especially of this size, is extremely rare.
NB: If anyone comes across a dead animal in the sea, they can contact the Marine Strandings Network on 0345 201 2626. You can also call the same number if you witness any sea animals being caused distress, such as being harassed by people or boats.